I’ll start this post out with a little personal story. I had an unfortunate experience sub-contracting for a well-known consulting company. Their Hyperion division was infamous within the Hyperion community for how they staffed projects. This firm would hire one experienced consultant and several people with minimal knowledge. The experienced person was supposed to “take the lead”. This meant doing all the work and training people with absolutely no knowledge. I got off of the job as fast as I could. It was dishonest to the client, and done solely to increase the profit margins of the firm. This firm used to get the jobs based on the company’s national rep, but I doubt they were asked back.
I felt badly, not only for the client but for the amateurs too. They were thrown into a bad situation with no training (someone on my job had a photocopied manual for the bootcamp thrown at them on a Friday afternoon and told to be ready to start on Monday. Bootcamp is typically a week long, instructor led experience.) I’m all for deep immersion learning, but this was ridiculous. There was little or no chance that someone in this situation would succeed.
This same firm was later hired by the employer of someone close to me. She works in a different department than the decision maker and has no influence on the decision. The new CIO made the choice independently. It was a disaster. One person worked and all the other consultants sat around. The company is unhappy with the product and their implementation of it. This is unfortunately common. The reputation of a large consulting company does not necessarily carry over to their Hyperion consulting.
Even at a reputable firm with some good consultants, you will find plenty of under-trained resources. They could be learning while they do the grunt work. We all have to start somewhere. There are large jobs where you can really use someone like that. However, if you’re a mid-sized company, how many people like that are going to be added to your job?
So how to choose the right firm. If you’ve already had an implementation, did you get the resource that you expected? If you didn’t, why? Did you wait 6 months and then ask for someone to start next Monday? If you want someone right now, you’re going to get whomever is available right now. If you have flexibility, try not to demand an immediate start. It’s not easy, but it’s realistic. It’s often worth it to wait for the consultant that you have an affinity to.
Brass Tacks has interpreted this into our company. We’re personal in our service. We only work in products where we have experience. We will be honest with our experience. We will not send you untrained consultants that are learning on your dollar. Talk to us and decide for yourself. The person you talk to will be part of your job. Not a salesperson, but someone doing the work. If you feel comfortable with us, we look forward to working with you.